Monday, 23 July 2012

11 hectares of meadow bought by Oxford Wildlife Trust


SAVED! Appeal for Oxfordshire wildlife site reaches target in time
July 2012. The Berks, Bucks & Oxon Wildlife Trust (BBOWT) has reached its target to buy Upper Common, one of the most precious pieces of grassland in west Oxfordshire, which will now be restored as a beautiful wildflower meadow.
“We had just six weeks to save this vital 11 hectare site on the edge of Chimney Meadows nature reserve, and we’ve met our overall total of £167,000 already,” says Neil Clennell, Head of Conservation and Education for Oxfordshire. “I’d like to thank everyone who has given so generously to this appeal.”
The restoration of Upper Common as a wildflower meadow will be achieved using seed from flower-filled hay meadows on Chimney Meadows nature reserve next door. “We have often looked longingly across the fence, never thinking that we would be offered the chance to own this land. Upper Common now completes an area naturally enclosed by the River Thames and the Great Brook, and offers great potential for wildlife.” says Neil.
“We know that otters lie up here on their travels, and we’ve seen signs of water voles on the banks of ditches. We’ll start work as soon as possible to give a safer habitat for these much-loved creatures.”
Almost 10 years ago BBOWT took a leap of faith and bought Chimney Farm in west Oxfordshire with extraordinary support from a public appeal. As a result Chimney Meadows is now the Wildlife Trust’s biggest nature reserve, and habitat restoration across 70 hectares has made this one of the largest areas of unspoilt neutral grassland in England.  


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